Walking for Students' Futures

Walking for Students' Futures

Every year Loudoun County's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international organization for professional educators, gives scholarships to several county high-school seniors who are going on to college. This year, however, the group decided to take its scholarship program to the next level.

Oct. 21 Phi Delta Kappa is hosting the 2006 Walk for Education to help raise money for its local scholarships fund.

"We want to build up our reserves for scholarships," Charles Hales, vice president of Loudoun's chapter and guidance counselor at Belmont Station and Ball's Bluff elementary schools, said. "Most of our scholarships are around $500. If we do well maybe we can go beyond $500."

"Our goal is to raise enough money so that we can award a scholarship to one high-school student from every high school in Loudoun County," Brenda Ausberry, president of Loudoun's chapter of Phi Delta Kappa and assistant principal at Stone Bridge High School, said.

Hale said that in addition to raising money the Loudoun chapter wants to become a more visible part of the community.

"We felt our chapter needed to start doing some things differently," he said. "We wanted to get more people engaged in our activities and let the community know we are here."

THE WALK WILL be held at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, beginning at 9 a.m. Walkers will walk for 90 minutes, traveling along the W&OD Trail entering at Trailside Park, heading east towards Farmwell Station Middle School, into Ashburn Village and back to Stone Bridge.

"This is open to community members, educators, children, anyone who wants to give a donation," Hale said.

There is no requirement for donations, walkers and residents are only asked to donate what they can. Sixty percent of the money raised at the walk will go to the scholarship fund.

"People can just stop by and drop off a donation if they wish," Hale said. "And if you want to walk there will be on-site registration."

FOR THE FUND-RAISER, Phi Delta Kappa, is working with the county's chapters of Future Educators of America. Each county high school has its own chapter, Ausberry said, and many of them will have a contingent walking at the event.

"They're walking to raise money for their individual chapters," she said.

Phi Delta Kappa works closely with Future Educators of America chapters, Ausberry said, with the organization acting as an umbrella to the student organizations. Many of the scholarships given out by Phi Delta Kappa every year are given to members of Future Educators of America.

"For our scholarships we target kids who are interested in becoming educators," Hale said. "We are really excited to support the public school system."